12/29/2005 12:00AM

Most hope Monrovia is on turf


ARCADIA, Calif. - Wet weather Saturday could force the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap from the hillside turf course to the main track for the second consecutive year.

Such a development would be a disappointment to trainer Mark Glatt, who starts Elusive Diva. It would be just fine with trainer Bob Baffert, whose filly Resplendency has thrived in the last year in races transferred from turf to dirt.

Those two are among the 13 entrants for the Monrovia, which is likely to have fewer starters regardless of which surface is used.

Glatt, for one, says that Elusive Diva would not run on an off main track, but would start if the main track is relatively dry.

is unbeaten in three starts over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, with all the wins coming in stakes: the Wishing Well Handicap in January, the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap in April, and the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap in September. In her only loss on Santa Anita's turf course, Elusive Diva finished second by a length in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap over a mile in November.

"I'm real pleased with her," Glatt said. "Maybe the weather will miss. I don't think we'd be confident running on an off track."

A majority of the fillies and mares in the field have better form on turf. was second in the Sen. Ken Maddy, Beneficial Bartok was second in the California Cup Distaff on the hillside course, and Getthepartystarted has won three turf sprints this year.

won the Queen of the Green Handicap over a mile on turf at Turf Paradise on Nov. 26.

Steve Knapp is another trainer hoping for the race to remain a turf sprint. He starts Guidebook, who is unbeaten in two starts on the hillside course, including an allowance race on Nov. 5. Guidebook is a front-runner.

Resplendency won the 2004 Monrovia by a length over 6 1/2 furlongs on a sloppy track. She lost her next six races before winning the restricted Pine Tree Lane Stakes here in October, then scoring a front-running win in an allowance race at Hollywood Park in November.